Ciara Always Knew It Would Be About More Than the Music

The superstar is ready for the next step in her evolution.

Ciara Interview
Photo: Courtesy of OAM

At just 19 years old, Ciara was already on top of the world.

Her debut single "Goodies" with Petey Pablo lead the charts, the accompanying music video played on all the major music television stations (remember those?), and nearly every millennial knew the lyrics word-for-word. But while she was reveling her new success as a performer, the now mother-of-three always knew she would do more than just make music.

"I really [always] believed in my dreams, I really had faith," Ciara shares. "I'm a big believer in speaking life into what you want to do."

She's definitely got the right mindset — and it's a trait we can all learn from.

Born in Texas, the singer's family frequently moved around the country before finally settling down in Atlanta during her teen years. On the flip side, I grew up primarily in Toronto, but made regular trips to the Caribbean to be with my family. Yet here we both were, sitting in New York City's 1 Hotel overlooking Central Park, living a life that we both once only dreamed of.

"Sitting here, talking to you, wearing my own fashion brand, my own fragrance, is surreal. But it feels right," Ciara tells me. "It's just another reminder of why you just don't stop believing."

It's also why the Georgia peach is now on a mission — literally — to bring high-performance, clinical, and pregnancy-safe skincare to the world.

Launching on Sept 15, OAM (short for On a Mission), is a five-piece collection that includes the Vitamin C Hydrating Cleanser, Vitamin C Brightening Pads, 20% Vitamin C Brightening Serum, Vitamin C Eye Revitalizer, and Vitamin C Radiance Moisturizer — with the brand's trademark Tri-C Pro Peptide Complex at the heart of each of the products.

Here, I spoke with the Grammy award-winning singer about her latest beauty venture, what she wants to teach her children, making routine feel good, and, of course, '00s nostalgia.

KG: You previously launched a perfume with your husband, so you're not new to the beauty industry. Why was now the right time to journey into skincare?

Ciara: Oh this to me was a perfect time, to be honest. I've actually been working on OAM for two years, at least two years. I was very fortunate enough that during the pandemic, I worked on a few things that were really important to me — and this was one of them.

Oh wow.

Yeah, I had been talking to my best friend and makeup artist, Yolonda, who's been in my crew since I was 16 years old, and she would always tell me — first of all, everything she's told me is true and right. But she would always tell me, "Ciara, you need to use your eye cream, you need to do this. You need X, Y, and Z." And I would hear her, but I wouldn't really listen.

Well, I mean at 16 — especially back in the day — who is really thinking that deeply about skincare?

Yeah. I wouldn't really listen. I would use regular body wash and body lotion on my face — I was that girl for a while. And then I decided it's time to level up how I'm taking care of myself. Being an entrepreneur, being an entertainer, being a mom, being all these things, self-love became even more important to me. And so this was a part of it. I wanted to level up how I took care of my skin.

I can definitely tell that you have very smooth skin. It looks fantastic.

Thank you. I take pride in that. It's been incredible to see how it actually works. When you do the steps and follow through it's game-changing. And then when I sit in the chair with Yolonda and she talks about how proud that she is of me and how beautiful my skin is looking — there's just something that's very empowering and builds your confidence.

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Vitamin C Hydrating Cleanser

Ciara Interview
Courtesy of OAM

The sulfate-free formula removes makeup and deeply cleanses the skin while ramping up hydration and brightening with a blend of hyaluronic acid and snow mushroom extract.

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Vitamin C Brightening Pads

Ciara Interview
Courtesy of OAM

Smooth and brighten skin with help from green tea and citrus extracts.

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20% Vitamin C Brightening Serum

Ciara Interview
Courtesy of OAM

This ultra-lightweight serum uses a controlled-release 20% vitamin C complex to help even out skin tone and add radiance all day long.

04 of 05

Vitamin C Eye Revitalizer

Ciara Interview
Courtesy of OAM

A mix of hyaluronic acid and niacinamide, along with the brand's signature Tri-C Pro-Peptide Complex, help to target dark circles and smooth out fine lines.

05 of 05

Vitamin C Radiance Moisturizer

Ciara Interview
Courtesy of OAM

Hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and resveratrol come together to create this silky, smooth moisturizer.

Why did you decide to make vitamin C the star ingredient of the line?

Well, I'll tell you on this journey of building out my skincare line, I've been able to educate myself and we talked about what the skin needs — your skin needs vitamin C. It can't create vitamin C on its own. Using vitamin C helps to protect, to prevent, and to correct. And so understanding that was game-changing. It evens out the skin tone, works on the dark marks. Vitamin C changes the game up for you.

Especially for Black people and people of color.

Yes for people of color. And obviously being a woman of color, I was able to factor that part in. But this line is for women like me and all skin tones and skin types, which is important. And in our case, we have a unique way that we formulated our vitamin C. We have the Tri-C Pro-Peptide Complex in all our products, but especially in the serum — I call the liquid gold for the face — we have the 20% vitamin C and there's the three unique doses of vitamin C. Throughout the day, it releases in micro-doses to your skin. People [often] talk about the irritation of vitamin C, and you don't get that with our products because of how it's pouring into the skin overtime.

VIDEO: Ciara Can Dance to Anything

I think that's important to note because 20% can come off as intimidating or too much.

Yeah, it sounds dramatic, but it's just the right amount of three unique doses of vitamin C.

So it's fine for those with sensitive skin?

Yes. I'm a more sensitive skin kind of girl, so I was a perfect candidate to work with the product, build it, and to go through all the whole process. I was actually pregnant when I was building out this line. So everything about it was very thoughtful.

How would you suggest a skincare newbie approach the collection?

So you'll see on the back of the bottles we have a numbering system there. I wanted to make clinical skincare simple for everyone. When I would go into skincare stores, I would be like, wait, where do I — where do I start? I want to make it a one, two step process for your skin. It doesn't have to be complex.

This is probably going to be a tough one to answer, but do you have a favorite product?

Okay, that's a tough one. 'Cause for me it's between the hydrating cleanser and the serum. It's tough to pick just one, but I love how the hydrating cleanser feels on your skin. Everything in this line was also about skincare being an experience: how it feels on your hands, how it feels on your face. I had a lot of prototypes before we got here where it was a little soupy and I was like, "That's not it. That's not it. That's not it."

It's very satisfying when it lathers a certain way.

Yeah, it just feels better.

So what role has beauty played in your career as a performer over the years?

I'd say beauty for me is a big part of who I am. And I think the greatest thing for me is just committing to taking it seriously was the next step. I used to think that I had to have tons of makeup to feel like my most beautiful self. I really challenged myself to get out of that mentality and to be comfortable with my natural self. So I love how I've grown and evolved over the years in that space, and I'm very proud of where I am. I do think that taking care of yourself at the highest level and the best way possible makes a difference. It helps build your confidence. It helps to set your mind in the right space too when it comes to how you think of yourself and how you go after things in life.

On that note, what lessons from your journey and evolution, both as a performer and businesswoman, do you want to teach to your children?

I think the greatest thing for my kids — and I've kind of really been preaching this — is for them to be patient. Patience is everything, and it's so hard to do.

Especially now, since no one has patience anymore.

No. The world moves so fast — everything is instant gratification. I think sometimes that also puts unnecessary pressure on people. The greatest thing for me [teach them] is to run their own race at their own pace. And I want to empower my kids to tap into what they really love. When you do what you love, you never work a day in your life. So I hope that they do what truly satisfies them and I want to support them in every way I possibly can to see their dreams come true and for them to be everything they want to be.

Alright, last question: What was your favorite Y2K beauty trend, and would you still do it today?

My favorite Y2K beauty trend? I feel like, remember — was that Y2K or was it '90s? — doing the eyeliner? The white eyeliner was a thing when I was younger. On the waterline. I don't know what that was about. It was like you wear the white liner on top of the eye too. You have [little to] no makeup on the rest of your face, but the liner was a thing. I mean, that's not a bad idea to revisit, but with other makeup supporting you [laughs].

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